Modernettes troupe participates in breast cancer public service announcement at Ringgold
Global breast cancer foundation Susan G. Komen will feature on its website the work of 50 local twirlers who created a public service announcement about the disease, the commercial's director said.
The Modernettes, an elite twirling corps that attracts twirlers from across the region, performed the commercial at Ringgold High School under the direction of California-based John Mitchell, a Penn Hills native and former feature twirler at Penn State University.
Mitchell, the commercial's director and executive producer, created the idea and vision for the video as a part of his initiative for “purposeful twirling.” He selected the Modernettes for the project after the troupe won a world twirling championship.
“This is a new way in which to be able to showcase baton twirling and show that it can be meaningful, and it can have purpose to it,” he said.
Mitchell said his mother, herself a former high school majorette, battled breast cancer and is doing well now.
“For me, it became a personal campaign for my mother and just wanting to do something. It quickly led into realizing that this is a thing that just happens to so many people all across the country,” Mitchell said. “It became almost pretty much a mission of wanting to not only get the awareness out there but to figure out how can I be a part of making a cure happen.”
During the video, which is posted on YouTube, the performers wear pink costumes while facts, such as “one in eight women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer,” scroll across the screen. The commercial also includes advice to “get screened” and “get mammograms.”
The Komen foundation intends to post the video on its website, Mitchell said, and he's currently working on distribution and licensing of the film. For that, he said, fundraising is necessary.
Mitchell said he wrote the script to include a twirling flash mob, and Modernettes Director Sherry Vignoli-Parisi choreographed it with a “Modernette spin on it.”
“It was wonderful for them to donate their time to such a worthy cause,” Vignoli-Parisi said.
Modernettes members hail from schools such as Ringgold School District, Yough School District, Charleroi Area School District and as far away as West Virginia and Ohio.
The twirling troupe has performed in national contests and eight world championships, earning seven gold medals, Vignoli-Parisi said. At the most recent world contest held in Switzerland in 2012, the team won a gold medal in both the twirling championship and pom-pom championship.
They'll attend the national championships in 2014, and if they win, would advance to the world championships in Italy.
At competitions, the Modernettes are judged on twirling, dance, general effect, marching and maneuvering.
The national competition features “Twirling for the Cure” and a breast cancer awareness day, Mitchell said.
Maureen Ott, a school board member at Ringgold School District in Carroll Township, helped secure the facilities to house the day of filming in late September.
Twirlers practiced the commercial for nine hours, then family members of the Modernettes crowded into the high school auditorium to watch the performance.
“I thought it was good for them to do something like this for other people,” Maureen Ott said. “Hopefully (it will) bring awareness and fundraise for an important cause.”
Ott's daughter Sarah, an eighth-grader at Ringgold Middle School, participated in the public service announcement.
“It was amazing to know that we could help out people,” Sarah Ott said. “And we just had do it by doing what we love to do, which is twirling.”
Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Cancer survivors to celebrate with picnic at Mon Valley Hospital
- Properties for sale in Monessen
- PennDOT vows help for Charleroi
- Former soccer coach to stand trial in Monongahela
- Ringgold director Carroll quits
- Frazier High School names Class of 2015 top students
- ‘Misfits’ shoot video for tour in Monessen
- Holiday weekend memories abound for 1965 enthusiast
- Charleroi Area names top students
- Cal U cheerleading squad captures national title
- Italian American Sports Hall of Fame honors Mid-Mon Valley trio